Diabetes type 1

Patient Education Courses

Patient education training courses aim to provide people with diabetes an understanding of their condition and to develop the self-care skills that people need to manage diabetes. The idea is that by the end of the course(s) people should feel more confident and know what to do if something goes wrong with the management of their diabetes and how to adjust their diet, exercise or medication. 

In the UK there are a range of Patient Education Programmes for people over 16 diagnosed with type1 diabetes, which include DAFNE, BERTIE and Insight. (For more information see Diabetes UK and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and National Institute of Health Care Excellence NICE).

Some of the young people we interviewed consider themselves lucky because they have been able to attend training sessions to help them calculate their carbohydrate/insulin ratio more accurately. They said that participation in training courses such as DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating), TIFA (Torbay Insulin and Food Adjustment) BERTIE, and Insight has made them more confident in solving problems regarding food and insulin dosage. Overall, they found these courses easy to understand, very informative and packed with new and detailed information.
Robert took part in a training course that he describes as ‘similar to DAFNE’. He is on multiple daily injections; fast-acting insulin with meals and a long-acting insulin.
Training courses tend to be oversubscribed, and young people said that they had to wait up to a year to participate in one.
Other diabetes education programmes are available at local levels. A few of the young people we talked to have taken part in various courses run by specialist nurses, dieticians, etc at their local hospitals including sessions on diabetes and driving, and insulin pump training.
Lewis and his parents pointed out that at the national level, there are no official training courses for the under 18s along the lines of the DAFNE course. In their experience, children and parents receive support and information from their local hospitals.


Last reviewed December 2017.
Last updated December 2017.

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